The Notwane Equestrian Centre is one of the latest exciting openings in Gaborone. My niece from the UK loves horses, so taking them out to Notwane seemed like a great way to entertain our youngest guest.
Since it was our first time visiting, I was concerned we wouldn’t be able to find it. I was relieved to see that it was very well signposted, so our visit was off to a great start!
Entering the plot, we passed a lovely paddock before getting to the main premises. The decor inside their coffee shop, sweetly named “Zorro’s Cafe”, was warm and inviting even though the power was out and the generator running. They serve a small selection of breakfast, lunch and dessert items and have said they’ll increase their variety of foods as the demand grows.
The staff were all really friendly and accommodating. Heidi, the owner, came up and talked to us once we’d said we wanted to get the girls out for a ride, and her daughter-in-law who served our drinks was helpful and very kind to the kids.
One guest swore that they served the best coffee in town. I’m not sure about that but can say that the apple tart with cream (P20) was the perfect midmorning snack for my toddler to make sure she was energised for her first time horseback riding.
They have shaded seating set up for about 4 groups outside, though they could do with some shade over the kiddies’ play area too.
The horses looked in good shape, well cared for, and suited to the age of riders. We had girls ages 2, 4, and 12 in our group and Heidi made sure the youngest was on the smallest pony. Us parents walked alongside the ponies to make sure the kids were safe. I think this was the only thing I didn’t enjoy about the day. I hadn’t thought to wear rugged shoes so while I did have closed-toe shoes on I came out with several thorns in my feet and ankles.
The kids were taken on a 30 minute guided tour around the property which included gorgeous views along the river. They enjoyed it and it was the perfect length for little ones; by the end my daughter was commenting that her legs were tired. It was the horsey equivalent of a bush bumble, tailored for the little ones in terms of the horses and length, and for the parents too since they stopped for photo opps at two lovely views along the route.
We also passed the guesthouse that they have available for rent. It looks nice from the outside. Maybe it would be a good place to go when I need a night to myself, away from the family!
After the ride we came back and had a cold drink in the shade and let the kids play a bit longer in their play area. I personally think that Notwane Equestrian Centre has created one of the best playgrounds I’ve come across in Gabs. There are different activity stations including hanging rings, swings, plenty of nice sand, and little houses to climb in and around. The painted rocks were a hit with our party (an idea I might steal for at home!)
- They suggest that children should be at least two years of age.
- Parents are to walk along with small children to make the kids more comfortable.
- Children 4 and up are usually able to enjoy and handle the ride with just their guides (there is one guide per horse, so control is any unexpected event is secured.)
- Long trousers should be worn so that the rubbing on the saddle will not be uncomfortable and closed shoes. Absolutely no rides in flip flops.
- Riding lessons for children 4+ are available either in singles or group lessons (not exceeding 4 riders).
- For bookings of the guest houses, please go to airbnb.com or email them.
Overall we really enjoyed it, and I’m excited to see how the Notwane Equestrian Centre takes off. It was a lovely morning and, considering that we stopped off at Mokolodi for lunch on our way back into town, a great day out.